Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ricotta Stuffed Spinach and Broccoli Pizza

Good morning all!  I'm glad to be back.  It's been a heckuva couple of weeks.  We're all exhausted from the funeral planning and the grief, so I'm glad to be able to get things back to normal.  Especially for my kids.

The first thing I did to get back into a routine was make pizza.  But this isn't your run of the mill pizza.  This is deliciously different.  I love all the veggies and melty cheeses and it was a nice switch from greasy pepperoni and sausage. (Not that I have anything against greasy pizza.  In fact, I could probably live off it.)  

This is actually a knock-off version of a Sbarro pizza.  Do you remember Sbarro?  It was my favorite place to eat when I had a break from my mall shoe store job during college.  Sbarro was also responsible for an alarming increase in my pants size.  I had to start running every day in order to keep ahead of my love of mall food court pizza.  I'm pathetic, I know.  :)

I only found one downside to this pizza.  It takes 2 dutch ovens to prepare.  You need one to wilt the spinach and cook the broccoli and one to bake the pizza.  I guess you could get away with using only one oven, but I've made it my whole dutch oven career with very few burns, and I'd like to keep it that way.  

So give this one a try.  I loved it.  My kids were a little disappointed because there were veggies in it, but they still enjoyed it.

Ricotta Stuffed Spinach and Broccoli Pizza

10" Dutch Oven 

16 oz whole wheat or white pizza dough (My favorite recipe is below)
1/2-3/4 Cup ricotta cheese
¼ Cup grated Parmesan cheese, like Kraft
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
2 Cups fresh broccoli florets, cooked until fork tender and very well drained
Pinch of salt
½ Cup Roasted red bell peppers, from can or fresh
1 ½ Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon dried Italian Seasoning

Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Spread and press one piece of dough into the bottom and sides of a well oiled 10" dutch oven.   In a medium bowl, mix together the ricotta and Parmesan cheese until well combined. Spread into pressed pizza dough.

Place the broccoli in a 10" dutch oven and just barely cover with water.  Over a full spread of coals, bring the broccoli to a boil and cook until fork tender.  Drain well. (I left mine in a colander to drain while I did the rest of the prep work.  You don't want a soggy pizza.)

In the same dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the spinach until wilted down, about 3 minutes. Place evenly over ricotta cheese layer. Place cooked broccoli florets over the spinach and season with a pinch or two of kosher salt. Layer roasted red peppers, then mozzarella cheese over top.

Press out the remaining piece of dough and place over filling, tucking edges inside of pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian Seasoning.

Bake at 375° for 25-35 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cooked through.  Use 1 ring plus a couple of coals on top and 1 ring on the bottom.

Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting.  Makes 8 slices.

My Favorite Pizza Dough

 3 cups flour, more or less
1 tablespoon honey, heaping
1 tablespoon oil, heaping
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix all pizza dough ingredients together, except the flour. Add flour and knead for a bit then put into a pan. If baking in a sheet pan, bake for about 12 minutes (checking often) until crust is browned and cheese is golden and bubbly. If baking on the preheated pizza stone, slide pizza onto stone and bake for about 8 minutes. Makes 1 large pizza.

Source:  Pizza adapted slightly from Picky Palate
             Pizza dough from My Kitchen Cafe


  1. This sounds really good. I'll have to give this one a shot once I finally get my dutch oven.

    I'm certainly going to try your crust recipe.

    Since I'm a beginner, any chance you can point me to some of your posts that are good for beginners?

  2. Hi I am a big pizza lover and I love to taste all kinds of pizza as possible as I can, including all your pizza stuffs. :)

  3. After reading your post :) I am slightly hungry :)

  4. Can I use another cheese other then ricotta I can't find it?!

  5. There really isn't a great substitute for ricotta in this recipes. You could try cottage cheese. Ricotta is usually found near the cream cheese and sour cream in the grocery store if that helps.


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